Heroes Health: Real-time support for healthcare workers
Even before COVID-19, healthcare workers were vulnerable to depression and suicide. Since the pandemic, healthcare workers have faced overwhelming conditions that place an enormous amount of stress on their mental health.
We need to protect the health of these healthcare heroes, ensuring that they get the care that they deserve and are in the position to effectively care for the patients that rely on their sound judgment.
Developed by researcher and COVID-19 survivor, Dr. Sam McLean in partnership with the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine, UNC Health, and X Development, a subsidiary of Google's parent company Alphabet, Heroes Health is an app-based initiative that provides healthcare workers with an easy way to track their mental health and access crisis support and resources when they need help.
These assessments help workers self-monitor their mental well-being in the same way that they might monitor their blood pressure or other vital signs.
For healthcare organizations who partner with Heroes Health, the app provides a way to identify when and where more support for workers is needed. Communities need this valuable information to effectively care for one another.
How It Works
The pilot version of the app is available through the App Store & Google Play Store in the U.S. free of charge to any healthcare worker.
Through Heroes Health, workers are notified each week to take a 5-10 minute mental health assessment. Once the assessment is completed, the app displays a brief summary of the user’s mental well-being along with trends in their reported mental health over time. Workers can also use Heroes Health to give feedback on quality and quantity of PPE, support for workers, and organizational communication.
The Heroes Health app provides links for healthcare workers to access immediate support and mental health resources for issues like sleep and stress, emphasizing services that are free or low-cost.
For individuals who join the program through a healthcare institution, anonymous information from all workers at that institution is summarized weekly for review by leadership at the organization. This data will enable leaders to identify times and areas that would benefit from additional support.
Learn more at https://heroeshealth.unc.edu/.
Some of the first organizations to roll out the Heroes Health pilot will be UNC (now active), Rhode Island Hospital/Brown University, Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ, Indiana University Health, and Jefferson Health, Philadelphia, PA.
The app is available now for use by both individual healthcare workers and healthcare organizations looking to measure and improve employee mental health.
The tracking tool developed for this project can be deployed during future epidemics and disasters, or on an ongoing basis by healthcare organizations wishing to support their workers.
We are seeking $620K in initial launch funding to fund project operations and ongoing tech maintenance and improvements for the pilot.
You can make Heroes Health a reality by donating today! Please share with friends and family who can make a difference for those on the front lines, as well as loved ones in the healthcare field who may need the app themselves.
The Heroes Health team includes healthcare providers, mental health researchers, epidemiologists, product managers, software engineers, data scientists and machine learning researchers/engineers.
The principal investigator of the Heroes Health study is Dr. Samuel McLean, Jeffrey Houpt Distinguished Investigator and Director of the Institute for Trauma Recovery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is an attending physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine. McLean's Co-Principal Investigator is Ron Kessler, PhD, McNeil Family Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.
Founding Consortium Partners include:
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Cooper University Health